Little Rock AFB Exchange Associate Named a 2023 DoD Outstanding Employee with a Disability


DALLAS – A Little Rock Air Force Base BX associate has been named the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s 2023 Outstanding Associate with a Disability.

Petra Eick, who has worked for the Exchange for a decade, was among 23 civilian employees and service members honored at the 43rd Annual Department of Defense Disability Awards ceremony on Oct. 26. The in-person event was held at the Pentagon for the first time since 2019.

“I was so stunned when I found out. I just kept staring at the email,” said Eick. “It’s such an honor.”

As the wife of an Army retiree and mother of two sons who served in the Army and a daughter who served in the Coast Guard, Eick says she’s in the “family business” at the Exchange, serving the military community.

She’s also known for her service to her teammates at the BX.

“Petra’s amazing. She spearheads all our events—from the planning to the announcement to taking care of any VIP guests. She takes care of everything without having to be asked,” said Little Rock AFB Exchange General Manager Barbara Commons. “She’s got a great work ethic and is friendly and encouraging to everybody.”

With October being National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Eick shared her advice to other disabled employees.

“Always keep open communication with your supervisor. You can work together to find solutions if you need accommodations,” Eick said. “Never be ashamed of your disability. My disability is part of who I am as a person and as an employee.”

Associates with disabilities account for more than 16% of the Exchange’s workforce. Four percent of the Exchange’s employees have targeted disabilities. The Exchange leads all DoD non-appropriated-fund agencies in these categories.

“Exchange associates bring their unique gifts to work with them each day in serving the best customers in the world,” said Exchange Director/CEO Tom Shull. “An inclusive workforce makes the Exchange stronger with exceptional associates like Petra.”

The Exchange, the DoD’s largest retailer, works to recruit, retain and advance people with targeted disabilities. Non-competitive hiring for entry-level positions, providing reasonable accommodations, active community outreach and retaining interns from the Workforce Recruitment Program are all tools available to Exchange managers in hiring those with disabilities. To view job openings, visit

Social-media-friendly version: Congratulations to Little Rock AFB Exchange’s Petra Eick, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s 2023 Outstanding Associate with a Disability! Eick was among 23 civilian employees and service members honored at the 43rd Annual DoD Disability Awards at the Pentagon on Oct. 26. Read more:

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Since 1895, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (Exchange) has gone where Soldiers, Airmen, Guardians and their families go to improve the quality of their lives by providing valued goods and services at exclusive military pricing. The Exchange is the 54th-largest retailer in the United States. 100% of Exchange earnings support military communities. In the last 10 years, your Exchange benefit has provided $3.5 billion in earnings for critical military Quality-of-Life programs. The Exchange is a non-appropriated fund entity of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors. The Exchange is a 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemorative Partner, planning and conducting events and activities that recognize the service, valor and sacrifice of Vietnam Veterans and their families in conjunction with the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our website at or follow us on Twitter at


Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Marisa Conner at 214-312-5111 or [email protected].

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